Today is our tenth anniversary.
No, not our wedding anniversary. On that Woody and I are closing in on 18 years this October.
Today, July 19, we’re celebrating ten years in our little stone house here in Vermont’s Green Mountains.
As it falls on my traditional posting day, I thought I’d write about this house we’ve lived in for ten years and see what develops.
For some bizarre reason, I tend to recall dates with ease.
March 8, 1994 I packed up my little white Subaru, the one with the putt-putt motor, and headed 600 miles east to Philadelphia and a new life. July 26, 1996 I moved out of my apartment in a former West Philly broom factory and into the first home I could buy “all by myself.”
November 1, 2000 Woody and I closed on the Chincoteague house that I’ve written so much about (Here and Here and Here and Here). And on July 19, 2007 at a little past 10 o’clock in the morning, Woody and I sat in a Montpelier law office and closed on our (assumedly) last home.
Its roots are shallow; they’ll grow deeper in time, just like the maple trees out front have–the ones that must come down before their leaves block our solar panels. But its roots are wide. They reach out to include good neighbors, a fine community, important friends,
and a renewed sense of purpose in living here.
When we lived in Philly, Woody and I created and ran the non-profit Birch Tree Foundation, under which we ran our workshops and retreats for people who stutter and those who treat them. Our ultimate goal then was to have a retreat center to which the people we served could come and “just be.” It would be in the country, quiet and beautiful; and it’d be filled with birch trees, of course.
We dissolved the foundation when we joined the Peace Corps. And we no longer work with people who stutter. But we now find ourselves with 30 acres of quiet, beautiful countryside, filled with aspens, fir, and maple trees, and birch.
And the importance of “just being” has stayed with me.
We are, after all, human beings, I like to say, not human doings.
Soon, our home will join the ranks of AirBnB, HomeAway, and Tripping as a place for people to “just be.” I hope you’ll consider a stay with us, either in our upstairs guest room or here, in our new addition, The Yurt:
Details are still being worked out and we hope all will be in place for a spring 2018 opening. But it feels good to be able to share this land we both fell so quickly in love with eleven years ago. Who knows, maybe there’ll be opportunity for an occasional writer’s retreat. Or a reunion of our former stuttering clients. Now, that would be a true celebration.
This new endeavor will not replace the writing, farming, singing life we currently have. Woody still teaches Intro to Speech Pathology (and a phonetics class too) online and is about to come out with the third in his Charles and Louise trilogy; I’ve been taking a crack at writing fiction and my next memoir should be ready for beta readers in about eighteen months. We still raise chickens, though I miss my ducks, and we sing as often as we can. And, we still strive to be good stewards of this land that once upon a time reached out and took hold of us and wouldn’t let go.
How about you? Are your roots leading you toward your purpose?
[NOTE: We’ll be spending Wednesday traveling across the state with Sasha for another surgical consult. More on that next week, maybe from Sasha herself. ]